Hyundai announced the N performance sub-brand at the end of 2013. Named after the brand’s Korean facility in Namyang, its base is located in Alzenau near Frankfurt which also serves as the home of Hyundai motorsport’s WRC team and naturally the first car to bear the N badge was the 2014 version of their rally machine.
In the beginning of 2016, Hyundai said three separate N-branded performance models are in the works while not ruling out the possibility of N-badged Genesis cars. For the international markets, the front-wheel driven i30 N is more likely to rival the benchmark Ford Focus ST and the Genesis G70 N will take on BMW M3 or M4 – besides a sports coupe that could debut at the end of this decade replacing the Veloster.
As the Korean firm ponders on new performance models, the Hyundai i20 N-Sport, based on the highly successful premium i20 hatchback, hasn’t come into fruition in India. With good reception for the Fiat Punto Abarth and VW Polo GTI, and the much-awaited forthcoming Baleno with Boosterjet engine a hot hatch division was shaped already.
Making global premiere last year and initially expected to debut at Auto Expo 2016, the i20 N-Sport will become a worthy rival to the aforementioned hot hatchbacks if/when launched in India. The Hyundai i20 N-Sport gets power from an uprated version of the 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with electronically-fed MPFI and other performance-enhancing technologies.
It produces a maximum power output of 114 hp and 160 Nm of peak torque. The motor is coupled with a six-speed manual gearbox and helps the car to sprint from 0-100kmph in just 8.9 seconds before topping out 190 kmph as published by AutoWorld in their test review.
It has sporty makeover and power boost alongside number of visual enhancements like the stainless steel free-flow CAT back exhaust system, N-badges on the rear door hatch and on the front fenders, 17-inch graphite-finished alloy wheels and low-profile tyres, etc. The Sport Body kit comprises of front and rear bumper trim finishes, side skirts and integrated boot spoiler for pronounced sportiness.
Stiffer spring setup allows for sporty handling, lower stance due to reduced centre of gravity and firmer ride while the free-flow exhaust adds an oral grunt. It rides on upgraded versions of the fully independent MacPherson strut suspension up front and semi-independent coupled torsion beam axle at the rear.
The longer wheelbase, increased tracks and 64 per cent stiffer body shell aid in better cornering and road grip whereas the stopping power is derived from the ventilated front disc brakes and solid rear disc brakes. The extensive use of advanced high strength steel made the chassis stronger while the four-wheel electronic four-channel ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brake-force Distribution) have combined to offer high standards of safety.